I was blown away yesterday when I saw Google’s exhibit. If you want to know how to create an outreach booth that does what it is suppose to do, go to the Google booth before you leave ALA. I recall seeing Google in the past at other conferences and as I recall they used to have very low keyed, “We’re here, but we don’t really think we need to promote ourselves” kind of approach. Today’s Google is looking to educate and that’s just what they did. Of course their budget is a little bit larger than the ones libraries are use to but the elements are the same. They established their audience (librarians), identified their goals (they had six sections that they wanted librarians to know and use), created a fun game with scratch offs that led people to go to six different stations to get the answers and then provided a choice of prizes for that made it all worth it! Now, some people cheated, some guessed but for the most part it was incredible to watch people go from station to station to learn about Google’s services. I’ll talk more about outreach when I get back home.
Oh by the way, am I the only person who didn’t know Google owns blogger? Yikes!
The Library of Congress used the same concepts but stayed with the traditional format to have people sit and learn. Not sure if they were giving out prizes. Other booths gave away t-shirts and high grade bags to people who sat and listened to their presentations. I am sure we are going to see all that change once everyone sees how successful Google is with their show.
I also attended a great presentation about stats. Too detailed to explain here but will revisit it in the next couple of weeks. How many of you are using geolib.org? I also got some great ideas about how to get the content of your websites searchable by the search engines. Considering the OCLC report indicated that only 1% of public library users started their searches at our libraries, it would only make sense to make sure the search engines are driving people to our content. More on this later.